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How Western Leaders Destroyed the Muslim World: We, the People and the Revival of Colonization by Mahboob Khawaja, PhD


28 October2021

How Western Leaders Destroyed the Muslim World: We, the People and the Revival of Colonization

The Ottoman Empire

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[Graphic: Ottoman Empire 1481-1683André Koehne drawn from The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd.]

By Mahboob Khawaja, PhD

Editor’s Note
The history of the Arab world (generally the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Central and South Asia) is an unknown. So is the history of Africa and most of South and Central America. Even Western Civilization focuses on the Greek and Roman Empires and the pathway of Christianity into Western Europe. In fact, the void of education in the U.S. about the rest of the world is frightening and largely constrained to a rather rosy view of selective U.S. involvement here and there. This is not a Eurocentric worldview in a fuller sense of that term as European history is also largely missing. The Eurocentrism is true only within the context of a cultural grounding, and in the racial categorization that underpins and reinforces the racism and racialization that is so pernicious in U.S. society.


I have no idea of the historical grounding of European students into their own nation’s roles in imperialism, nor how it is presented if it is taught. Nor do I know what education the nations subject to imperialism know except that many of those countries have no broad public educational systems. 

The Ottoman EmpireClick map to enlarge.

Ottoman Empire 1481-1683André Koehnedrawn from The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd.I assume that if you have much knowledge of historical imperialism in even a loose way you got to the way I did – reading beyond the curriculum and beyond “school.” Perhaps you stumbled across the work of Edward Said (1935-2003). Perhaps the critiques that arose out of his post-colonial perspective found you instead. [As a short study, I recommend an excellent 2013 article by Tarek Osman BBC NewsWhy border lines drawn with a ruler in WW1 still rock the Middle East.

Osman elaborates on the Sykes-Picot agreement and the three problems at the heart of it. I think these are pertinent to the crises we see today, and typical of imperialism across the planet.

“First, it was secret without any Arabic knowledge, and it negated the main promise that Britain had made to the Arabs in the 1910s – that if they rebelled against the Ottomans, the fall of that empire would bring them independence. “

Second, was that the line they drew ignored tribal territories and existing historical boundaries. “But the thinking behind Sykes-Picot did not translate into practice. That meant the newly created borders did not correspond to the actual sectarian, tribal, or ethnic distinctions on the ground.”

Third, which Osman lays on the Arab world: “… Arabs’ failure to address the crucial dilemma they have faced over the past century and half – the identity struggle between, on one hand nationalism and secularism, and on the other, Islamism (and in some cases Christianism).” I do not believe that the identity struggle lies solely at the feet of the various leaders in the Arab world.

I have come to think that we are not in a post-colonial period. Rather both imperialism and colonialism are still very active. Even if the mechanisms have changed, and sometimes pawns are used (as Dr. Khawaja asserts) and/or multinational corporations (backed by major nations) have taken the leadership role, the models are still too applicable to be ignored. I must add that the corporations are legal proxies for the wealthiest of the planet which does indeed place an even more sinister twist to contemporary colonization.

Are the masses aware of the owners of the boots on our necks? If we/they revolt against the obtuse, self-serving rulers of their varying states what do they replace that organization with?

I agree that many around the planet believe that we are one humanity, but we have yet to find a way to assert that. And there are many who are too aware of their lack of access to the necessities of sustainable survival but accept the concepts of winner and losers and wealth acquisition. In other words, they have no challenge for the system that holds them in place, only for those holding power within that system.

Ahh, perhaps I am in a bleak period and there is more hope and promise in the world that I see with my dim and somewhat jaded eyes this day.

Mahboob Khawaja, PhD

The Arab word’s a veritable mess. The cosmic leadership deficit, the absence of legitimate institutions, the lack of transparency, disrespect for human rights, abysmal regard for gender equality, and too much conspiratorial thinking make it impossible to come to terms with the magnitude of the problems. In short, this region will remain broken, angry, and dysfunctional until the leaders who purport to take responsibility for governing these unhappy lands get their proverbial acts together. And that’s … well, a generational enterprise at best, and I suspect something that will take a good deal longer.  Aaron David Miller (“Where Have all the Arab States Gone” Foreign Policy: 4/14/2015)

After the US-led crusade in Afghanistan, it was Iraq, then Libya, followed by Syria and Yemen leading to Saudi Arabia under the guise of “war on terrorism.”  The US Congress was powerful to sanction the 2003 bogus war against Iraq. The same fate could meet Saudi Arabia if it refuses to compensate the alleged victims of the 9/11 attacks.

The US and some of the West European nations have played a central role in institutionalizing the authoritarian corruption across the oil-producing Arab states. The new educated and thinking generations of Arabs must realize the inherent problems and make a navigational change and set priorities to detach the economy and politics from the oil-fed thinking and consequential militarization and interdependency on the Western nations unto social and economic-political reconstruction of the Arab societies for a sustainable future. The discovery of oil was not a blessing in its totality but its manipulation for superfluous prosperity and economy could turn out to be a natural curse leading to a decadent culture and civilization. Time and history shall not wait for a navigational change in thinking and actions but new generation should be conscientiously powerful and skilled enough in time management to share a new and moving vision and to plan strategies and actions for A NEW Arab world dedicated to informed and responsible people’s governance and living in harmony with the rest of the global community.

Robert Briffault, Professor at Cambridge University (The Making of Humanity, London, 1920). made the following historical observation:

“It was under the influence of Arabian and Moorish revival of culture and not in the fifteenth century, that the real Renaissance took place. Spain not Italy, was the cradle of the rebirth of Europe…It is highly probable that but for the Arabs modern European civilization would never have arisen at all; it is absolutely certain that but for them, it would not have assumed that character which has enabled it to transcend all previous phases of evolution. For although there is not a single aspect of European growth in which the decisive influence of Islamic culture is not traceable, nowhere is it so clear and momentous as in the genesis of that power which constitutes the paramount distinctive force of the modern world and the supreme source of its victory.”

– The Oppressed Global Humanity is Deprived of Reasoned Voice in Changing the Global Conflicts

Global humanity is continuously oppressed, manipulated, and victimized by the weapons of mass destruction – from thoughts to all kinds of weaponry.  Global peace, conflict management, and security are neglected by those who were responsible for their protection and maintenance. Everything thinkable appears to be falling into disrepair and much wanton destruction is reported as non-living statistic. Most leaders operate in a vicious circle of making statements, tweets and speculative wishful overtures as if the whole of mankind was inept and inattentive to the catastrophic challenges of the day.

Good judgments require honesty of purpose, courage and rational thinking. When leaders talk about emerging conflicts and human tragedies, they pretend as if none had ever happened before – as if they never opened the pages of history. History offers lessons to all generations all the time. Human perpetuated tyranny according to late Professor Howard Zinn is “tyranny.” Insanity has no alternative rationale. Look how the UNO leadership and most global politicians witness transgression, forcible displacement, and the killing of tens of millions across Syria, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar (Burma), and Yemen but do nothing except offer fake UN-Security Council resolutions and dubious statements about crimes against humanity.

Victimized mankind shares a sense of disarray and the loss of being part of global humanity. A view from afar only asserts conspicuous examples of flourishing inhumanity such as the proliferation of anarchy, violations of basic human rights and dignity, the use of chemical weapons, and civilian massacres. However, nobody questions why this is happening now after two World Wars. The world is changing but not fast enough for the authoritarian Arab rulers – fat from feeding on the oil revenues and stupid with mindless thoughts and behaviors. This is even more visible if you view them in the real world of political actions and the prevalent deplorable atrocities imposed on the Arab people. The affluent and oil-enriched indulge in conspiracies to assume power and institutionalize corruption simply to maintain a few tribal powerhouses favored by the ex-colonial masters managing the power centers from distance. Now, the Arab people have awakened after a long slumber of complacency and disorder. The problem was well defined by Shakespeare “the destiny of peoples coincided with the destiny of their monarch and nobles.” The knowledge-based, information age has dismantled some of the illusory borders and demarcation of nobilities and has challenged them to bridge the conflicting time zones between the palaces and the people with the internet, cell phones, facebook, twitter, and instant communication technologies.

The Arab Geography has No Proactive Leaders but Authoritarian Puppets Who Follow the Foreign Masters

Washington’s enemy is an enemy that doesn’t exist…. it didn’t exist when Bin Laden was alive, it doesn’t exist now…. America is being attacked because of its foreign policy…because of the Saudi police-state, because of its presence on the Arabian Peninsula, because of its relationship with Israel…Israel as a country isn’t the problem. The leaders of the Jewish-American community in the United States who influence and corrupt our congress into supporting Israel when we have no interests there…. The truth is, American and Western foreign policy interests in the Middle East for 50 years have depended on the maintenance of tyranny – a tyranny that gave us access to oil, a tyranny that protected Israel and in the last 20 years, tyrannies that persecuted Islamists to protect us.”

Michael Scheuer, former Chief of the CIA Bin Laden Unit, “We are Fighting an Enemy that Doesn’t not Exist in a War that Doesn’t End.”

Arab geography is the by-product of European colonization. Historically, Arabs were nomadic people free to move and trade all over the Arabian Gulf Peninsula and beyond. Britain, France, and Italy demarcated the national borders and extended superfluous nationalities to keep the Arab people divided and defeated. While Islam offered the unity of One People – ‘One Ummah’, the Europeans indulged in massive cultural and political disruptive plans to ensure that Arabs remained fractured and would not re-emerge as One People again. They were used at will by the then superpowers (British and French) to fight the European national wars during the First and Second World Wars. Could history repeat itself as happened during the French Revolution and Industrial Revolution that Arab people might rise over the agony of intolerable limits of lost freedom and bloody authoritarianism?

The degeneration of the Arab moral and intellectual culture is well in progress. They are divided and defeated. There are no wars for the Arabs to fight but they are fighting wars on several fronts without reason- known and unknown. The compelling realities across the beleaguered Arab world demand new thinking, new visionary leadership, men of new ideas and plans to deal with the unwarranted bombing of the civilian population, wholesale deaths, and deliberate destruction of the Arab people and culture and millions of displaced refugees with nowhere to go.

The emerging crises clearly indicate the Western policies and practices aim to incapacitate the Arab intellectual hubs and limit their ability to create a sustainable future. There seems to be no escape from the current volatile political crises when Arab leaders act as if they had no knowledge of the impact of massive death and destruction aimed at destroying contemporary rational thought. Temptation and compulsion of evil embedded in psychological factors of sectarian rivalries operate in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Egypt to perpetuate in-house fear, death and destruction. After the end of WW2, across the Muslim world, there were two major political problems of global importance, Palestine and Kashmir. Postwar Arab and Muslim leaders neglected the imperatives of these core issues and their failure enlarged the scope of other man-made problems to undermine the basic rights of freedom of the people of Palestine and Kashmir. Millions of Palestinians were evicted from their ancestral homes when the state of Israel was established. Whereas Kashmir represents the failure of India and Pakistan to hold a UNO agreed plebiscite to facilitate the freedom of the people of Kashmir. After the unsettling Palestinian refugee situation, why are there several millions of more Syrian refugees across Western Europe? Who will deal with the pressing problems of life and death facing the Arab masses? Who will deal with the restoration of peace, normalcy and conflict management? Do these leaders have any moral and intellectual capacity to extend security and a sense of protection to the helpless millions of refugees? Rationality is replaced by manufactured insanity. As it stands now, Arab leaders have no other thought and priority except to check the depleted oil prices, and count the dead bodies – soon they could be part of abstract statistics debated and defined by the American and European warriors as to how the Arabs lost their national freedom, human dignity and oil pumping economic happiness. To reverse the naïve blunders for accidental change and to clarify a rational perspective for the future, this author in “Arab Leaders Waiting to Count the Dead Bodies” (https://www.countercurrents.org/khawaja050213.htm), offered the following insight and reminder to all concerned in the Arab world:

Once the Arabs were leaders in knowledge, creativity, science and human manifestation, progress and future-making – the Islamic civilization lasting for eight hundred years in Al-Andalusia- Spain. But when they replaced Islam – the power and core value of their advancements with petro-dollars transitory economic prosperity, they failed to think intelligently and fell in disgrace and lost what was gained over the centuries. They relied on Western mythologies of change and materialistic development which resulted in their self- geared anarchy, corruption, military defeats and disconnected authoritarianism. The Western strategists ran planned scams of economic prosperity to destroy the Arab culture with their own oil and their own money turning them redundant for the 21st century world. Today, the authoritarian Arab leaders are so irrational and cruel that they reject all voices of reason for political change and emancipation of people-oriented system of governance only to bring more deaths and destruction to their societies.

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012. His forthcoming book is entitled: One Humanity and The Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution

Reference: Courtesy

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Global Peace and Security: Why Wars on Humanity? By Mahboob Khawaja, PhD.

Editor’s Note
Dr. Khawaja makes a reasoned and impassioned argument for international organizations oriented towards peace, primarily the United Nations Organization (UNO), and humanity to step forward and change direction. Clearly, we live in a time of hardening lines and increasing extremism that perpetuates destruction and chaos; primarily to deliver the “rewards” to the hands of a powerful few. Organizations oriented towards peace, order, and the protection of humanity seem either incapable or unwilling to perform the roles for which they were created.




It is noted that most of the organizations were created to resolve the chaos of WWII and prevent such atrocity from swamping the world in the future. Herein lies the basic flaw. These organizations are not partnerships of equals where participating nations have equal voice and power. They reflect the power of the few with the United States being the “most equal” of all in a “Lord of the Flies” world. Whether we look at the UN, NATO, OECD, or IMF, we find that the power of the United States not only overrules the voices of many but silences them as well. In fact, the Security Council of the UN has had the effect (intentional or not) to enhance the power of the US in the UN’s ability (or lack thereof) to protect populations from the predation by others. When that fails, time after time the United States has acted unilaterally in direct violation of UN dictates and rulings. Further, the US has hamstrung efforts from basic UN operation to humanitarian response by withholding its dues – a critical amount in any budget.

Adding insult to injury, the United States has determined that it will not recognize, nor be bound by, the International Criminal Court – another critical component in addressing international crimes against populations and humanity.

It is clear that if there is to be an institution where the world comes together to promote peace and justice and work towards resolving conflicts and averting disasters, it needs to either be an organization of true equals with the ability to enforce decisions, or current institutions must restructure themselves so that the collective has more power than any individual nation. There is another viable option –

Mass non-cooperation by the people to participate and support our own destruction – a rolling global strike of sorts.

“The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”  (Albert Einstein)


Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

The global systems of political governance are dominated by the power politics of the few and are fast becoming irrelevant and unrepresentative of the primary concerns and priorities of the vast majority of global humanity. Neither the UNO  or superpowers take preventive measures to protect mankind in critical situations like Myanmar-Burma (Rohingyas), Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Yemen and Palestine; global governance tends to be a fantasy than a reality under these challenges.  You wonder if the UNO has lived up to its role and the Charter-based responsibility to safeguard the people of the world from the ‘scourge of wars’, horrors of planned violence, and the resulting devastation to human cultures and habitats. All in all, it is humanity which is subjected to untold miseries, bloodbaths and catastrophic consequences that linger on for generations. There are a few who are the source of evil driving mankind to unrestrained tyranny. The Statute of the International Criminal Court states “planning and waging a war of aggression is a crime against humanity.”

The Global War Agenda against Reason

The author intends to share a critical analysis of some of the contemporary issues and to inspire global rethinking for a navigational change in the redundant structures and role of the international institutions, inept leadership, obsolete systems of power politics and approaches to peacemaking, security and conflict management. The perpetuation of fear and political chaos overwhelms the obsolete global political governance. The war-agenda has shifted actions from the Western industrialized societies to the oil-producing Arab world. The Middle East is in ruins by the ongoing sectarian warfare; indiscriminate bombing; terrorism; and destruction of life, habitats and the natural environment. Nobody can rebuild what has been destroyed by the war agenda that repeatedly sweeps through the same regions.

To us – the living and conscientious humanity- time and accountability make it clear that global systems are operating contrary to reason. Amongst all the creations on Planet Earth, humans are the only one equipped with thinking, language and intelligence to claim morality as an attribute of life and value. This reality emphasizes and differentiates us from the other creations of God. If we propel uncertainty in our thoughts and behaviour, nothing can stop us from surpassing the limit of immorality and insanity. With knowledge-based 21st-century human communications improving the possibility of global collaboration, we are not moving in a direction where human logic and truth spell out for our conduct in peaceful relationships. The impulse and actions for cruelty and sadistic behaviour are increasingly propelling alarming trends for present and future generations to be shaped by our implicit wickedness and resulting failure in global affairs. As humans, we are not thinking or moving for the unity of mankind to be at peace and harmony being the chief creation of God. Staying on this destructive path will make us something much less than our God-given potential for unity and peace.

We the People of the Universe and Tyranny of the Few

The 21st-century knowledge-based critical thought highlights unilateral absolutism as the cornerstone of superpower’s policies and practices.  David Armstrong(“Dick Cheney’s Songs of America”: Information Clearing House: 09/19/2011), points out how the US politicians view the world to be governed by the American strategic dictates:

It was published as Defense Strategy for the 1990’s…. The Plan is for the United States to rule the world. The overt theme is unilateralism, but it is ultimately a story of domination. It calls for the United States to maintain its overwhelming military superiority and prevent new rivals from rising up to challenge it on the world stage. It calls for dominion over friends and enemies alike. It says not that the United States must be more powerful, or most powerful, but that it must be absolutely powerful.

The Plan is disturbing in many ways, and ultimately unworkable. Yet it is being sold now as an answer to the “new realities” of the post-September 11 world, even as it was sold previously as the answer to the new realities of the post-Cold War world. For Cheney, the Plan has always been the right answer, no matter how different the questions….

Another new theme was the use of preemptive military force. The options, the DPG noted, ranged from taking preemptive military action to head off a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack to “punishing” or “threatening punishment of” aggressors “through a variety of means,” including strikes against weapons-manufacturing facilities.

Under the George W. Bush administration, America continued to pursue this approach to global affairs. Reasoned politics and safeguard of global humanity were not the purposes of such a belligerent plan. The USSR was already dismantled as a challenger and the US politicians saw the opportunity to determine the future of global mankind through militarization and occupation of the poor and vulnerable nations. Its first victim was Afghanistan, then Iraq and Libya, and onward to the whole of the Arab world. Under NATO, America continued its influential role to destabilize the USSR and former allies of Eastern Europe. There was no balancing of reason.

Where power beyond human capacity is entrusted to the few, the chances are high it will be misused against the people. The political tensions of the militarization of the globe led to oppression and miseries for the people of the world. We have not seen any tangible movement in political behaviour to lessen the unstable clash of fanaticism and evil imposed on the innocent victims of this devastating political agenda. The UNO was overwhelmed by the same scenarios of inept outcomes in situations that warranted urgent and swift humanitarian action to safeguard the civilian population in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Palestine and Kashmir. Why is the prevention of man-made tyranny, oppression and conflicts fast becoming unacceptable norms in global systems of governance?  Should the contemporary leaders of the world answer this vital question, or should it be left to the impulse of history to explain it to future generations?

To Imagine Change in the Working of the Global Institutions

The global institutions were aligned and shaped by the historical at the end of the 2nd WW, not to knowledge-based proactive 21st century of technological innovation, reason and change. Global leadership and systematic working of international political affairs are managed by wrong thinking, wrong people and wrong priorities. None seem to have the capacity to further the cause of global humanity, peace, conflict resolution and security. Humanity looks for change, but there seems to be no systematic mechanism for integrated change to ensure continuity of encompassed human thoughts, hopes and ideals for tomorrow, whether near future or distant future. Despite the sketchy illusions of freedom, democracy, human rights, liberty and justice, we are encroached, stuffed and at terrible risk of annihilation more accidental and by an error of judgment than a planned scheme of things by Man against Man. The Western political mythology enflames hatred against Islam and blames Muslim as being “terrorists.” The raging wars in the Arab Middle East are a net outcome of ignorance and lack of wisdom against Islam. Western installed puppets Arab leaders do not represent the masses. Often false propaganda, deception and prejudice are combined in a trajectory of plans to sell weapons and console the egoistic leaders as allies of the Western military alliance. This political delusion is full of inherent inconsistencies. Gary Wills (What the Qur’an Meant and What It Matters. Viking, NY, 2017), a leading American scholar explains the reality in his new book:

Our enemy in this war is far less localizable than it was in the World War 2 or the Cold War. Terror is a tool, not a country. Declaring a war on it is less like normal warfare, country versus country, there is No VE Day or VJ Day in such wars… living with fear is corrosive…the less we know about the reality of Islam, the more we will fight shadows and false emanations from our apprehension. Ignorance is the natural ally of fear. It is time for us to learn about the real Islam beginning with its source book – The Qur’an.

Global Leadership and Its Moral and Intellectual Decadence and Humanity

That conscious realization is absent from global thinking and observations of the outcomes of the major international institutions is obvious. None of the global institutions seems to reflect the sacred nature of life and the role of Man (human beings) in preserving life and its encompassing standards as the pivotal role and obligations to the planet. What is the cure to the raging indifference and emboldened cruelty toward the interests of the people of Syria, Iraq, the United States and Western Europe, and for that matter to the whole of mankind?

Remember that civilizations and humanity are not developed by the political-military-industrial complexes led by economies, or IMF operative bankers, ruling elite, speculatory stock markets, legal judgments, kings and queens, morally and spiritually decadent generations and crime-riddled authoritarian ruler. Rather, thriving civilizations are the tangible progressive outcomes of proactive intellectual and moral visions of the societal thinkers, poets, philosophers, knowledge, truth, compassion and continuous movement by man to support humanity and its natural striving for new thinking, change and progress. Politics is problematic and increasingly becoming irrational and a burden on man’s conscience. Now, it is up to the focused mind of Man and Spirit of Humanity to assume the new-age responsible leadership for a navigational change.  We the People, We the Humanity, are capable of envisaging a navigational change towards reasoned dialogue for change and a sustainable future – new proactive visions and new reformed global systems; working international institutions to unite humanity and contribute to peace, harmony, security and respect amongst the diverse fabrics of mankind.


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Posted April 9, 2019, by Rowan Wolf in category “Mahboob A. Khawaja, Ph.D.“, “Militarism“, “Peace

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